Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Wargames Weekend 08 Part 5: Sunday

I slept in a bit (by sleep in I mean 7AM...). Then got up and made some Hummus and cut up some cheese and carrots and stuff to snack on while playing the last game of the weekend.

To cap off the weekend I ran a big Cold War Commander game. This was another World War Three set around 1988 using the background from the movie Red Dawn (NATO more or less dissolved, soviets invade England and North America).

Dunvegan, Alberta, Canada, 7 Sepember 1988


The Russian army has been pushing south through Northern Alberta. To continue their advance towards Edmonton they need to secure a place to cross the Peace River. After having been previously thrown back from their hasty attack on the Bridge at Dunvegan the relentless Russians have returned with a more prepared assault.

The Soviet forces have suffered heavy losses in the recent weeks fighting and are desperately short on supplies and fuel.

A British brigade which had been training at CFB Wainwright when the invasion took place had moved into the line and is relatively fresh.


The soviets have 12 turns to take one or both of their objectives (the bridge across the Peace River and the Gas Compressor Plant). The British NATO forces start dug in. The Russians then take the first turn using mobile deployment. The American tank company will enter the table on the first NATO turn using mobile deployment on either of the roads on the south table edge.



Elements of the 15th Combined Arms Army

22nd Guards Motorized Rifle Division
Recce Unit – BRDM-1

Tank Battalion:
2x T-80 ERA platoons
4x T-72 platoons

Motor Rifle Regiment
1st Battalion:
6x BMP-1 platoons
6x Infantry platoons
2x RPG-7 upgrades

2nd and 3rd Battalions
6x infantry platoons

6th Guards Airborne Division
Air Assault Regiment
3 Battalions, each:
6x Air Assault infantry platoons
1x Mi-6 Hook flight
1x Air Assault Asset

Regimental Support Assets (to be attached to the Air Assault battalions
2x Spigot ATGW platoons
1x SA-7 SAM platoons

1st Far East Air Corps Fighter-Bomber Division
1x Su-17 flight

33rd Artillery Division
6x 122mm Artillery batteries
10x Smoke assets
5x Chemical assets
40x HE assets


143rd Infantry Brigade (Light)
Recce Unit - Scorpion

1st Bn, The Royal Greenjackets
9x Infantry platoons
3x Carl Gustav Upgrade

3rd Bn, The Royal Greenjackets
9x Infantry platoons
3x Carl Gustav Upgrade
1x Milan ATGW platoon

2nd Bn, The Light Infantry
9x Infantry platoon
1x SF-GPMG platoon
1x Milan ATGW platoon

Elements US 163rd Armored Brigade (Bozeman, MT)
2x M1 platoons

128th TFW (Truax Field, WI)
1x A-10

3rd Battalion Royal Canadian Horse Artillery
3x M109 batteries


Gary, Darrin, and Andrej played the Russians, John burt and Jay played the NATO forces (until Jay had to leave and then I took over part of the force).

Gary had to spend some time planning his scheduled artillery assets – I helped him out be starting this process before people arrived (made a map and planned out some of the smoke and chemical assets). As Gary was finishing up and briefing his subordinates of the overall plan John and Jay set up their forces.

NATO quickly gained partial air superiority over the battlefield giving them some hope of survival…

(Remember: click on the pictures for a bigger version)

Jay considering their defensive position.

Up front is 2nd Bn, The Light Infantry. Behind them to the left (of the picture, towards the bridge) is the 3rd Bn, The Royal Greenjackets, and to the right and slightly to the rear (Guarding the gas compressor plant) is the 1st Bn, The Royal Greenjackets. The CO (in the Land Rover) is in a nice central location.

2nd Bn, The Light Infantry and the Brigade Recce platoon lurking in the woods.

Turn One: the soviets smoked off the entire part of the front they were to advance on. Off to the left they hit with some sort of nerve agent – luckily for the NATO forces no one was positioned there!

The Russians advance! Gary watches over his subordinates from close behind. Andrej, on the left, is commanding the tank battalion and Darrin, on the right, has the entire motor rifle regiment.

John Bertolini is in the background, he came to observe for part of the morning.

Soviet mechanized forces roll forward.

The brits sitting in the smoke are no doubt getting nervous!

The mobile reserve races to the front – an M1 company of the US 163rd Armored Brigade! (one of these days I’ll assemble and paint all my Challengers…!)

They just looked so awesome I had to take lots of pictures before the NATO lads started to light them up!

The Johns converse while Andrej continues to roll his soviet armour forward!


Parts of the Light Infantry fell back into the woods directly to their rear – just in time for some soviet artillery to land there CRUNCH! I think they got off lucky as the two of the three batteries slated to blast this wood were taken out by couter-battery fire on the first two turns…

John scowls at some of his troops as he starts to remove casualties (“I don’t recall giving you permission to DIE!?”)

Darrin dismounted his BMPs at this point and the soviet advance ground to a halt as the cautious Andrej and Darrin decided to fire on the British for a bit rather than roll right over top of them!

Then the A-10 started showing up and menacing the soviet armour! HUZZAH!

1st Bn, The Royal Greenjackets are caught in one of the soviets pre-planned barrages!

The A-10 continues to hammer on the Soviet armoured column. Two platoons of the Light Infantry were left behind – they had been suppressed when the battalion retired. Their position hampered the Soviets ability to maneuver in subsequent turns – because Andrej was to busy worrying about the American armour he didn’t want to spare any time assaulting the dug in infantry, only occasionally fired at them with his guns if one didn’t’ have LOS to the American tanks – which often suppressed – but for a while was unable to neutralize them.

A jumble of soviet infantry battalions.

American tanks dueling with the soviets. They eventually lost.

Turn Six brought the Soviet VDV in right on top of one of the objectives.

The Soviet VDV immediately began to fire on the 1st Bn, The Royal Greenjackets, inflicting heavy casualties over the next couple turns!

General positions around Turn Six.

Half of the Soviet Tank battalion is gone – mostly thanks to the flight of A-10s. One of the M1 platoons has been taken out and the second is not long for this world. I think the M1s did take out a couple of their Soviet opposites in the process, however.

On more than one occasion flights of SU-17 ran the gauntlet of NATO air superiority fighters and ground based AA to pummel the 3rd Bn, The Royal Greenjackets – you can see all the yellow dice marking casualties!
Only on of the six original BMPs are still in business. I know a couple were taken out by The 3rd Bn, The Royal Greenjacket’s Milan platoon, and maybe a couple that got too close to platoons armed with Carl Gs… I think one of the BMPs took out M1s with their saggers..?

Vey little left of the Light Infantry after having been pounded by tanks on one side and the motor rifle troops and their BMPs on the other…

More of the same. The suppressed Russians in the foreground were hit by the M109s of 3RCHA.

The Brigade's Scorpion recce platoon and the remains of the Light Infantry hold their positions in the woods.

Soviet Motor Rifle troops.

The Russian tank battalion was eventually whittled down to just two platoons

Those sneaky recce troops. John made good use of them – as either an extra set of eyes for the various forward observers or as a CV booster – every turn that they weren’t suppressed! The Russians left their BRDM behind and didn’t use them once all game…

Final postions on Turn Nine when the NATO force finally broke. Both 1st Bn, The Royal Greenjackets and 2nd Bn, The Light Infantry were reduced to less than company strength. The Greenjackets had a single platoon still fighting, the LI two – though they were quite separated from each other and unable to support each other in any way. 3rd Bn, The Royal Greenjackets was still relatively intact. I imagine they would probably have retired across the Peace River to form a second line of defense there after covering the withdrawal of any stragglers from the other battalions.

One last run for the A-10s

Total Losses

1x T-80
3x T-72
5x BMP-1
4x Infantry

2x M1
16x Infantry
1x Milan
2x MG


I did like this game – we tried some new things; counter-battery fire and chemical weapons. Considering that three of the players had never played before and John had only played once I think it played rather quickly and smoothly.

After the game we finally ate the cake I had baked on Friday. I had meant to break it out earlier but we were just so busy having fun playing games all weekend that I never got around to it.

Once again a big thanks to all of you that came out and played and made my first Wargames Weekend a resounding success!

Coming soon on Tim’s Miniature Wargaming Blog:

Work begins on my project for Tim’s Winter Wargaming Weekend 2009: Quebec 1759 !


  1. Not my period, but looked to be a fun game - as a matter of interest how close is ColdWar Copmmander to Blitzkrieg Commander??

    Also, where do you get your shellburst markers - do you make them yourself?? They look really effective...

  2. CWC and BKC are nearly identical. There were some changes in CWC when it came out - improvements to the core system, really - which I now use in BKC.

    I made the "krump markers" out of steel wool and washers. One of these days i'm going to make some tank burn markers using a similar method (the white cotton puffs on burning tanks looks a bit silly)

  3. Thanks for the gen on the markers - I'll have to give it a go... hadn't thought of using wire wool.

    For tank burners I bought a bag of black puff balls at Hobby Craft - not ideal, but for game descriptions I then use Paint Shop Pro to dramatise them a bit! Recent examples of this childish activity are on my WWII Project page (which you can get to from the main blog)

  4. This was a fun game for me Tim. The use of the flavours of chemical weapons, smoke, air power, artillery pre-planned barrages, and especially the large para drop made it good fun. It was good to have several players on each side too. Thanks for making an interesting scenario. - Gary